A Path Less Traveled: Columbus Day Weekend Hikes in the Squam Range

The Squam Lakes Association works throughout the year to protect the careful use and shared enjoyment of the lakes, mountains, forests, open spaces and wildlife of the Squam Watershed. Columbus Day weekend is especially busy at the West Rattlesnake-area trails and we want to share a few alternatives with you to help you avoid the crowds, find a better parking spot, and enjoy a quieter area so that you can soak up the fall foliage and get back to nature. The SLA has over 55 miles of trails, so choose the one that is right for you! 

For more information on trails, stop by the Squam Lakes Assocaition before your next adventure in the Squam Range, 534 US Rt. 3 in Holderness. Squam trail guides are available in our gift shop for $6 and help pay for the cost of maintaining over 50+ miles of Squam trails. SLA gift shop is open all weekend for Columbus Day from 9am-5pm. You can also call us at (603) 968-7336 for more information.

Alternative Hikes:  

1. Whitten Woods

Short and easy trails. Recently-conserved 453-acre Whitten Woods property. Trailhead access and parking off of Highland Street in Ashland. Trails offer views of Squam Lake from two different peaks, each within about a mile from the parking area. Trail does get relatively steep the last 0.1 mile to South Peak and 0.1 mile to North Peak. 

2. Chamberlin Reynolds Memorial Forest  

Short and easy trail network. A 157-acre forest with over a mile of waterfront and was donated to New England Forestry Foundation in 1953. Its shorefront area and trails are managed for public use by the Squam Lakes Association. There are several beaches, a swamp board walk and over 4 miles of hiking trails. Trailhead access and parking off of College Road in Center Harbor, between Rte 25-B and Route 3. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times and you must clean up after your pet. 

3. Belknap Woods

Short and easy trail network. A 90-acre forest in Center Harbor, which was donated to SLA in 1986. Trailhead access and parking is located at the mouth of Dog Cove and along Rte 25-B. Keep your eyes open for birds and wildlife! 

4. Cotton Mountain Trail

Short and moderate hike to the summit. Trailhead access and parking is located 1 mile past the Squam Lakes Science Center heading north on Route 113. Gravel pull off parking on the left side of the road.

5. Red Hill via Eagle Cliff

Moderate Hike. Take the Eagle Cliff trail to the summit of Red Hill for a spectacular view from the fire tower. This hike via Eagle Cliff is about 5 miles out and back. Trailhead is located on Squam Lake Road in Sandwich (named Bean Road in Center Harbor) at 0.4 miles north of the Sandwich and Moultonboro town line. Gravel pull off on the right side of the road. 

6. Brooks Fisher Trail to Mt. Webster

The Brooks Fisher Trail is one of SLA's newest trails located on Perch Pond Road in Holderness, about 3 miles north east of US Route 175. Evidence of Squam's history winds up the switchbacks and connects to the Crawford Ridgepole Trail at 1.3 miles. From the intersection, head north (left) for 1.5 miles to Mt. Webster for spectacular views of Squam Lake! 


For all SLA trail information, 2019 Trail Guides can purchased in our gift shop located at 534 US Route 3 in Holderness, NH.

*We are open all of Columbus Day Weekend 9:00 am to 5:00 pm*

Would you like to help protect Squam hiking trails for future generations to enjoy?

Click Here to Learn More About our Trail Adopter Program!